People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 18, 2007
TGEA Resolves To Fight The Attack On Trade Union Rights
THE 47th state conference of TGEA (Tripura Government Employees Association) was held on February 10-12, 2007.
TGEA, an employees’ organisation of the state is not merely an organisation working for only monetary gains and better service conditions of their own masses, but it has high tradition of surging heroic battles for protecting democratic rights, maintaining tribal-nontribal ethnic amity during the turbulent days of ethnic passion and organising innumerable movements with popular issues. Thus, apart from the solid support base among its own masses it has deep fraternal relations with the other democratic-minded people of the state. The association traversed sixty long years negotiating many twists and turns since its inception.
On this occasion, an open rally was held at Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhavan, Agartala on February 9. After closing offices at 5 p.m., employees of different strata participated in the procession with their respective banners. Surpassing the lawn of the Bhavan, the employees’ gathering overflowed to the nearby streets. The leaders addressing the rally called upon the employees to fight tooth and nail against the imperialist globalisation and at the same time exert fullest energy to carry forward the huge developmental works undertaken by the Left Front Government of Tripura.
Shubhashish Gupta, eminent leader of the employees’ movement in West Bengal, addressing the gathering, observed that the whole world is day-by-day surging ahead with united resistance against imperialist globalisation. The people of India are also not lagging behind in this struggle and certainly the people of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura are in the forefront of this struggle. So they must shoulder greater responsibility in the coming days, he asserted and added, it is natural that the effects of the imperialist globalisation are not so chillingly felt by the people under pro-people governments led by Left and democratic parties as it is felt in other states. Inspite of that, since the beginning of globalisation policies in India in 1991, eleven countrywide general strikes had occurred, which is unprecedented since independence. He called upon the salaried community to exert their due role to intensify this struggle.
Bishnu Prasad Bhattacharjee, general secretary of the organisation highlighted the adverse aspects of the new Pension Bill, and termed it as an outcome of the globalisation policy and one of the worst attacks upon the wage earners. He urged upon the employees community to resist this bill with their fullest might. The open rally was presided over by the president of the organisation Ratan Krishna Basak, and was addressed among others by chairman Ashes Debroy and women employees’ leader Jaya Barman.
While addressing the conference on February 11, chief minister Manik Sarkar appealed to the employee’s community to shoulder greater responsibility, sincerely involving themselves in the developmental works that are going on all over the state. Government staff irrespective of his rank and position is the instrument of all government programmes. Thus only transparency in self-performance would not suffice; they must exert themselves in right earnest, for proper and timely implementation of developmental works, chief minister appealed. Explaining the direction of the state Left Front government, chief minister said, government is very keen to uplift the downtrodden lower income families lying below poverty line. But there are no uniform national criteria to determine the BPL families. So the number of BPL families is identified with different yardsticks in different states which varies with that of the centre. It is a real problem in proper implementation of the poverty alleviation programmes, chief minister lamented. Finance minister Badal Chowdhury also addressed the conference.
On February 10 morning, the delegates session began. The inaugural address was delivered by Aghore Debbarma, chief executive member, Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council after the flag hoisting and paying tributes to the martyrs’ column. He said that Tripura is advancing fast and steadily amidst many adversities like geographical difficulties, extremist activities, demographic composition, absence of communication and infrastructure etc., and added that inspite of this, we are striving to overcome many of the hindrances through our relentless sincere endeavour. Government employees of Tripura must set apart in professional commitment as well as in performance with those in other states, Aghore Debbarma urged.
After his speech, general secretary Bishnu Prasad Bhattacharjee presented the organisational work report in the conference which was followed by the discussions of the delegates. Altogether 37 delegates took part in the discussions and enriched the report, which was unanimously adopted by the conference after the reply given by the general secretary.
The delegates stressed the importance of strengthening the organisational network so that it may challenge the imminent threat on the trade union rights, carry on far more intensified struggles to boost up the current worldwide resistance movement against the globalisation and compel the UPA government at the centre to stick to the CMP, through popular struggles.
The conference adopted a 72-point charter of demands including extension of railways upto Subroom, 17-point organisational programme and a schedule of movement programme. The conference decided to submit a mass-petition to the prime minister on certain demands relating to the state’s progress.
The conference unanimously elected 221-member central committee, 65-member executive committee and 18-member secretariat. Ratan Krishna Basak and Bishnu Prasad Bhattacharjee were re-elected as president and general secretary respectively.